20-Somethings - Not losing weight. Too many or too few calories?

02-20-2014, 10:55 PM
I've been at 175 for a while. When I started 2 new jobs 6 weeks ago I gained 10lbs in the first week. I haven't been able to get this off at all and I'm starting to wonder if my calorie intake is correct for my activity level.

My schedule is:
Mon/Tue 5a-9:30a, 10a-8p
Wed 5a-9a
Thur/Fri 5a-8:30a, 9a-7:30/8p
I also work every other weekend. During both jobs I am on my feet almost the entire time minus about an hour total of breaks between the two. I'm either standing in one place or walking things to different departments. At my part time job I do exert myself a lot (squatting, pulling/pushing heavy merchandise, climbing ladders, etc.) but at the full time job it's mostly standing and moving back and forth in a 4 foot area for 30-45 minutes at a time. I don't have time to workout during the work week. I do 30 minutes on my home elliptical on my days off and just ordered a TRX that arrived this week.

My diet:
Breakfast: Oikos Pomegranate greek yogurt, mini protein bar (100 cal/10g protein), water or diet berry green tea (0 cal). On my days off I eat 3 scrambled eggs and a piece of gluten free toast.
Lunch: Varies. I'm trying to stick to a gluten free diet for my Hashimotos. My job cooks food for us daily so it's hard to track exact calories. Today I had a hamburger patty, mashed sweet potatoes, and broccoli. I also had a can of coke. Yesterday I was off and had half of an Udi's gluten free pizza for lunch (330 calories)
Dinner: We were busy at the lab tonight so I ate a rice krispie bar and a banana as a quick snack. I didn't get to eat a full dinner, and I usually don't.

I'm not sure if I can't get weight off because I'm not eating enough for my activity level? Or am I eating too much? My caloriecount tracker says I'm doing between 1200 to 1300 calories per day. I plan on making more complete meals to take to work with me (like baked eggs for breakfast and protein/veg for lunch/dinner) but other than that I'm not sure what I can change.

Also, I have hashimotos and am on 65 mcg of NatureThroid.

Thank you for reading this!

02-21-2014, 11:52 PM
Hi Kelli,

I feel like I'm in the same boat as you! Today was the first day in WEEKS that I saw the scale go down, (to 174 nothing exciting but something) I don't count it as "real" until I've seen the number show up for two days.

Are you counting your calories pretty strictly? I bought a food scale and counted everything down to the gram since I thought maybe I was overestimating (and I really was!) but it doesn't seem like you eat all that much?

Right now, I'm eating 1200-1400, but sticking closer to 1200, 100% with veggies and protein (I get a lot more food for 1200 cals this way without feeling deprived) I don't know if it's going to work yet, but maybe I'll see in a few weeks. I find that food prepared anywhere but my house always has more calories than I think.

Sorry I know this wasn't helpful at all, but I hope you see the scale go down soon!!

02-22-2014, 01:16 AM
I'd say go back to square one.

Put your maintenance calories into a calculator. I just did for you based on an age of 25. I don't know how old you are though.

I said your activity was "lightly active". Better to underestimate this than overestimate it.

The resutlts from calculator.net (25yo, 175pounds, 5 feet 3 inches., light exercise.
you need 2302 Calories/day to maintain your weight
you need 1802 Calories/day to lose 1 lb per week
you need 1302 Calories/day to lose 2 lb per week

But i also have a couple of other doubts. One thing is that when i was on a diet that enabled me to lose 2 pounds a week for an extended period, i was quite hungry a lot of the time so if you are not hungry, perhaps you calories are not as low as you think.

Your calorie counting may be way off. I suspect it is on the basis of how you reported it because we can't have any idea of how many calories you are eating on that day from what you've told us.

Standing up itself doesn't seem to burn many calories. A thing i realised one time when i had a job in a kitchen. Waitressing on the other which involves a lot of fast walking about and carrying stuff, does burn a lot of calories. Its easy enough to walk 10km a night in a busy restaurant. But you could start wearing a pedometer to see how far you walk. Convert steps to kms after. I certainly don't think you need to be trying to squeeze in any more exercise . YOur life sounds busy enough as it is. Except unless you want to something on the weekend.

I have hypothyroidism too. I can never remember if theres a difference between it and hashimotos but i have to take meds for life. You are taking a natural one. I am not convinced its the best thing. so if you keep trying things and you are still getting nowhere, then you really must ditch the natural thyroxine and take a synthetic one. Really i have not had any indication of any problems with mine and i've been taking it for over 10 years now. My mother on the other hand believes she's allergic to some preservative in them (says she gets itchy skin), is taking the natural one, is clearly taking too much because she's never been skinnier and looks positively unhealthy. At the same though, she's showing rapid onset of osteoporosis which is what happens if you over medicate on thyroid treatment. Hypothyroidism is in my mothers side. My grandmother had it also. she also got osteoporosis but much later on.

There is a link between the two diseases you need to be aware of.

As far as i'm aware there is no link between gluten and hypothyroidism. Gluten is only harmful for people who have coeliac disease or an actual testable intolerance. Many people seem to think that gluten will fix problems of one sort or another without knowing exactly what is wrong with them. A friend of mine thought she might have a gluten intolerance but it turned out to be a fructose intolerance when she had an investigation done, not that she was overweight, she just had diarrhoea too often and probably bloating.

I would add that i find it easy to lose weight. My hypothyroidism has not interfered with it at all. I gained weight when i quit smoking.

Do you keep your meds in the fridge?

02-22-2014, 01:50 AM
If you're sure you're counting calories accurately I would try increasing them by 10% for a couple of weeks and seeing what happens. So if you eat between 1200 and 1300 try 1300-1430.

You could also cycle them, eating 1200 one day and 1600 the next.

It could also be stress, are you sleeping enough? Your body may just be adjusting to your new schedule.

Velvet bean
02-22-2014, 07:38 AM
1.) How long have you been stuck like this? If it's a week or less, then I wouln't worry too much. Do you step on the scale every day? If you do, try to do it every other day or every three days, so you don't feel it's been forever since you lost weight.

2.) Is it "that time of the month"? :) The scale could show 3 or more pounds more if you are. I stopped stepping on a scale when I'm on my period - because I almost went crazzzzy! :dizzy: I read that it's also possible to weigh more when you're ovulating, but personally I've never noticed that.

3.) I see that you're very active all day at work and then you come home and hop on the elliptical! Are you wonder woman or something? :) Maybe your next weigh-in should be on the day after your day off, when you didn't work out at all - so that you're muscles won't be sore and you won't have so much water in your body.

4.) Like gymrat05 I also reccomend, that you increase your calorie intake just a little bit, because I think you burn a lot more that you give yourself credit for. Try 1400 or 1500 this week!

5.) Is your scale really old? Does it need new batteries? Try a friend's or a doctor's scale to see if there's a difference. I just threw out a scale, that was messing with me and now I'm much happier!

6.) Do you drink lots and lots of diet soda or intake other artificial sweetness? Although I drink one every other day, it never affected my weight loss - but some scientists on the internet say it could harm your diet.

7.) If all else fails - just try to be patient and wait another few days. Sometimes I have no weight loss for one week and then I lose almost 3 pounds the other - so I guess it all evens out at the end!

02-22-2014, 08:35 AM
Hey OP :) Maybe a trip to the dietitian is in order, given your medical condition and other factors you have mentioned in your post? They might be able to run a few tests and show you where to tighten things up a bit, regarding the types of food you are eating, etc? Sorry I dont have much advice, I hope you work it out soon! Keep us posted!

02-22-2014, 07:47 PM
I am in agreement with caldawg89, I would take a trip to your doctor and or a dietitian. When's the last time you had your thyroid levels checked? From the limited knowledge and understanding I have regarding Hashimotos, is that your thyroid levels can be variable. I wonder if they could have changed recently? Also if you are able to see a dietitician, they could be able to give you some good tips on integrating more fruits/vegs into your diet and eating healthy at your work since you don't have control over what they have to eat there.

I have hypothyroidism and in my experience, I was not able to lose any weight until I was on synthroid and my TSH was around 1.2ish. Obviously, this may be different for you. I also am eating less than an average person would eat for my age/height/weight/activity level in order to lose. It can be incredibly frustrating, there were a number of times I broke down and was very distressed when I was trying to lose and nothing was happening.

02-22-2014, 08:51 PM
I was previously on Synthroid and felt horrible, so I moved to NatureThroid which helped with my symptoms. Previously I was always extremely tired and sluggish. My hair was thinning too. I had a MRI on my neck for numbness in my fingers when they saw a nodule on my thyroid. An ultrasound then diagnosed Hashimoto's, which was confirmed with a thyroid antiglobulin test.

My levels were last checked about 2 months ago, which is when I was upped to 65mcg. There is actually a link between Hashimoto's and gluten intake. Gluten increases the attack against the thyroid, making the thyroid problems worse and increasing my thyroid antiglobulin. Also, when I eat gluten I get horrible migraines. I used to get these daily and my doctor could not find a cause, but since coming off gluten I have not had a single one. When I make a mistake in my diet (who knew tomato soup had flour, ugh) I get them back full force and almost start crying from the pain.

I have asked for a referral to a dietitian, but my endocrinologist thinks that because I'm hungry all the time that's why I can't lose weight. He put me on an appetite suppressant which made me feel like a zombie, and I would eat maybe an apple and a bowl of cereal a day. Still didn't lose weight haha, so I came off of that.

I will try increasing my food intake to see if it helps. I'm also considering quitting my part time job. The stress and lack of sleep is more of a problem than the extra $500/month is worth! After sleeping in today until 6am I realized how much better I felt after 8 hours of sleep.

02-23-2014, 03:01 AM
Sorry I just realised i didn't take note of the bit that said you were eating only 1200--1300 cals per day according to your tracker. If that's accurate, then perhaps you need to increase before you try decreasing.

but i have to say, whenever i've eaten very low calories, i still always been able to lose weight so i don't really get this thing that people always say about weightloss stalling because calories are too low.

I remember once getting down a very very small size for me. I had a very physical job at the time of working as a room attendant in a hotel five days a week or more. I was hardly eating anything at all because i was really depressed about a relationship breakup. I would mainly drink a couple of glasses of wine at night and eat nearly nothing. I got very skinny. Of course that was much earlier than my hypothyroidism diagnosis.

02-23-2014, 10:14 AM
Well I don't know what to tell you.. I'm not lying about how much I eat or the fact that I'm not losing anything.

03-05-2014, 10:42 AM
evreyones body is different it sounds like your fairly active these are two things that have stalled my weight loss and maybe the same for you

if I don't sleep I don't loose weight it sounds bratty but its true

and I also loose weight more efficiently if i eat a little more than the calorie tacker tells me too for example it says I should be eating 1480 for my height i eat about 1600 a day , at 1480 I don't feel hungry but I feel like my body is holding on to every straw (TMI WARNING) i don't use the bathroom properly when i eat too little and that majorly slows my weight loss

try eating a little more , and some fiber it didn't sound like you had enough fiber

03-05-2014, 04:37 PM
Keep up the good work girls! =)

03-09-2014, 06:01 PM
Scale still isn't moving. Joined a new gym and have gone 3 times in the past week. Quit my morning job so I'm only working 50 hours a week instead of 70+. I'm still very stressed out because I decided to help a friend out. I said she could stay with me until she got her own place. Instead she's spending money on everything but moving out, laying on my couch for days on end, and eating bacon, pizza, and mac n'cheese daily. It's really hard to stay on diet when I come home to my house smelling like bacon and pizza...

03-09-2014, 06:20 PM

I just wanted to give my two cents :)

I think you may be under-eating. And don't worry, I was in the same boat as you.

It wasn't until I figured out my BMR which is around 1700-1800 calories, that I realised that I was eating too little. But also, you have to remember with this number, that because I am exercising I need to eat more calories. My body lives on 1700 calories (to digest food, for my heart to beat, etc.) and that's what I would need if I was simply laying in bed all day. Because I'm exercising (currently doing the Insanity program) I have to up my calories, so I'm eating about 2000+ calories a day.

I suggest that you go to Sharee's 'Funeral For My Fat' website and check out her page about BMR. There is a video there that talks about eating enough food and she also talks about properly calculating the number of calories you will need.

Now, it may seem like I'm eating a lot (and you may be surprised how big your number is too), but trust me. Once you are eating enough food for your body, you will be surprised to see that you are losing weight :)

03-09-2014, 07:12 PM
Well now i finally learned something i have never heard or thought of before. Stress and lack of sleep!. Its definitely worth consideration. And regardless of whether it makes a direct impact on your metabolism, for your own wellbeing, its worth addressing the causes straight away.

I certainly maintain mood issues affect our ability to stick to a diet. So it sounds like you need to deal with your friend.
Could have a friendly chat with her. Tell her that her lifestyle habits are making it difficult for you to stick to your diet and causing you worry. Insist you don't want to come home at night to a flat smelling like bacon etc. I also would struggle with this. Its your flat, you have to lay down the law.

Tell her also that her presence is adding stress to your well being and you'd be a lot happier if she could find somewhere to live. And if she wants to continue enjoying your hospitality then she needs to make a few changes. These should be explicit.

I know a lot of people find it really difficult to be the "baddie" but you will feel a lot better after you've taken action. Your friend might get cranky, but you should anticipate this possibility and be ready not to argue, but just to repeat once your rules and leave the room. YOu could just say, its my flat and for my wellbeing i need to come home to a sanctuary, not more stress and worry.

That's probably one way to do this effectively and save yourself.When you are sure in your mind and confident that this is what you need for yourself, then you will able to deal with any unsettling feelings. Its key not to get into any sort of argument. You just make a statement and repeat once if necessary. End of discussion.

But chances are she will probably cave in and just begin behaving better once she's had a little time to process what you've just said to her, if not immediately.

Then, personally, i would follow the approach by madelaine. Also don't dwell on your worries. Distract your mind when these difficult thoughts intrude. Just drop the thought and go to something else that is more mentally relaxing or rewarding. For sleep at night, i go back to focussing on my breath, or the sensations in my body. I put my mind into a light observing mode, and let analytical thinking and daydreams go. You may have to work at it a few times when stressed because i know the negative thoughts are intrusive. Just keep switching your mind to other things.

Reading can also help.

when you are at the gym, if say on the treadmill, don't let me your mind settle on your problems, focus on what your body is doing. This sort of exercise is great for the brain. Enjoy the feelings of walking. Observe all the sounds in the gym. Focus your mind outwards into observing mode. What are people talking about? What are they doing? what are they wearing? But better still is what does it feel like in your body.

This is a style of meditation practice.

03-09-2014, 10:47 PM
I tried talking with her but she just starts crying and..it's too much to deal with. I had been getting better with stress and getting 8 hours of sleep a night after quitting my morning job, but her snoring on my couch has made it really hard to sleep now. I've tried talking to her but she keeps saying she has no money to move out.. despite spending $500 on a new tattoo a few days ago.. :/

The only upside is that it motivates me to go to the gym so I can get away from her. I got a really good HIIT treadmill session in and did weights as well.

03-11-2014, 04:57 AM
Ah well, you got yourself a problem. At the least, if she's going to be there, you may have to get tough about how she lives in your place so that don't hate being there. I can't imagine anything worse than wanting to be away from home because someone who doesn't live there normally is there.

I hope you can find the strength to deal with it effectively. At some point she's going to have take responsibility for her own life.

03-11-2014, 11:15 AM
Scale still isn't moving. Joined a new gym and have gone 3 times in the past week. Quit my morning job so I'm only working 50 hours a week instead of 70+. I'm still very stressed out because I decided to help a friend out. I said she could stay with me until she got her own place. Instead she's spending money on everything but moving out, laying on my couch for days on end, and eating bacon, pizza, and mac n'cheese daily. It's really hard to stay on diet when I come home to my house smelling like bacon and pizza...

Your friend needs to leave, the sooner the better. It's having a negative effect on your health. Setting limits is a key part of staying healthy that so many of us need to learn. Your friend will be ok and will find somewhere to live. Be firm and take care of yourself!

03-14-2014, 04:02 AM
-Sleep ABSOLUTELY contributes to weight loss. If you aren't sleeping enough, you probably aren't losing weight. 8 hours is ideal. Sounds like quitting that job may benefit you.

-Like a few people have said, you may need to increase calories. Additional tidbit... try and make those calories protein. During my last plateau, I didn't have calories to add so I changed my breakfast to a 30g protein shake and 2 days later I was down 2 lbs. Some research says the body can't actually absorb more than 25g protein at a time, but whatever it was on sale and it worked.

-I had a friend move in with me when she was down and out. We worked together at a restaurant. Luckily my manager gave me the advice to have the "when are you planning on moving out" convo a day after she actually moved in. I'll never be able to thank her enough for that advice! I'm sorry you don't have that option, but here is what helped me. Hopefully you can adjust something to make it work for you. The biggest thing for us was that my lease was up in 2 months. I actually told her that she could crash on whatever couch I had, but it did seem to give her more motivation anyway. Maybe you could put a time limit on it. Some states require 30 day notice even in this situation. So give her some written notice. I was looking for a place so whenever I came upon a place that fit her- i sent her an email with the info. I know its extra work for you, but you could do that if you want to motivate her. My friend couldn't save money, it was like she was allergic to it. So I made her give me all but $20 of her money at the end of every shift = No tattoos for her! She had enough to move out by the time my lease was up. She also stopped buying junk food since she would save the $20 for more important things- like alcohol- whatever, at least the smell of Jack Daniels didn't make me hungry :). If she isn't willing to do that, you could just start charging rent and save it so you can kick her out guilt free in a month. She'd probably be more motivated to move out faster if she wasn't freeloading.

-The best part about these little things is that they are taking strides towards your goal and hers. Just knowing that progress is happening removed so much stress for me and my friend. She was not happy about me taking her money the first day, but by the third day she was excited to give it to me. Of course waitresses have a huge amount of instant gratification and she saw the numbers add up fast. Not sure if any of this will help you, just offering a little different perspective than the "just kick her out advice."

04-01-2014, 04:37 PM
I actually did end up kicking her out. She was eating all of my gluten free food, waking me up at 1am when she would sneak into my home, and left my freezer wide open one day, ruining a great deal of food. I tried to be a good friend but after the way she treated me I had to kick her out. The good news is that since eliminating that stress and increasing my food intake (lots of veggies and lean protein) I'm down 10lbs. Finally!